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The Ordinary
The Ordinary

The Ordinary Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.eattheordinary.com
  • Email: mail@eattheordinary.com
  • Phone: (843) 414-7060
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
    Closed on Monday
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Mike Lata
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cannon Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from The Ordinary
The Ordinary is a classic oyster bar and seafood hall located in an old bank in Charleston, SC.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "For serious seafood lovers, The Ordinary goes right to the top of the list of "must visit" Charleston restaurants. The Lobster Cocktail was sinful. The Southern Fish Fry was terrific and the oysters - any way you want them - with seven different choices from local to Cape Cod, were sublime. Ben was a terrific ambassador as our "host (waiter)" and the atmosphere was electric. There was even free parking, which is great for the North King Street location. Altogether a wonderful evening and not to be missed during a visit to Charleston. We'll be coming back soon for the Shellfish Towers."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "It's noisy, my husband had difficulty hearing the waiter. For this reason I suggest it's a better fit for groups. Their 3 tier tower - a signature item - could be ordered as either a double tier or single platter but you don't get all of the same items. Seafood is fresh and everything we had was tasty, just not great or especially imaginative. The tuna and beef tartare was sadly lacking toast. Luckily we had ordered their handmade chips. Fish chowder was good, not mind-blowing. I've certainly had better. On the advice of our waiter we ordered bread to go with it. Very interesting coconut flavor. We liked it a lot, but felt it was not a good match with the chowder. Worth a try but not, in our opinion, a repeat visit."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "The Ordinary is a great spot for foodies. Loved the razor clams in a green sauce , will think of that for the rest of my life! First time for us so we got the seafood tower. Loved it, best and cleanest oysters we have ever had. Wonderful location, we will be back for sure. One of my top 5 restaurants! We went to Charleston SC just to go to this restaurant."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "They had some of the best raw oysters i've had in a long time. Also had a Fantastic flemish sour ale style beer called gose from a local mount pleasant brewery that blew my socks off. The waitstaff was excellent and we had a great time, I have zero complaints."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Very noisy inside - no soft surfaces to muffle sounds. Staff very efficient - food was great. Not the traditional restaurant feeling or menu: old style - order from maybe 8 apps, 6 salads/soups, 15 - 30 mains. Included would be bread, salad, main + 2 sides, usually a starch and a veg. This new look: everything is ala carte: pay for bread, pay for salad, pay for sides. Ordinary only has 4 "mains" (they call them large plates). Hank's Seafood for example has about 24 "mains". So if you come to the Ordinary and don't like one of the few mains, you're outa luck. But lots of apps and raw bar is excellent. Expensive - but of course."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Where to begin.....WOW AND WOW!!!! Gram took great care of us and took a lot of time suggesting things to try. This was our second time visiting this restaurant because we haven't stopped talking about it on our first visit, the food is so fresh and so unique. Make sure you don't leave this off your places to try when in Charleston. Cannot wait to come back!"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "The restaurant is nice, noisy, and ordinary food. I had the Lov=bster Roll special, four course dinner for $35. The lobster was good, the roll spongy and ordinary, the salad very good with pecans and peas, and the desert a panna cotta that was ordinary."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "I saved The Ordinary for a special occasion and The Ordinary was Extra-Ordinary. Ambiance is lovely, perfectly tuned to Upper King Street in Charleston. The food is fabulous, fresh, and interesting. The razor clam salad is a must! We shied away from the seafood platters but will go for it next trip. Wait staff know their stuff...and are friendly and helpful. Wine list is very reasonable but a little short on Loire whites (in my opinion). This is a great addition to the Charleston food scene. A little pricey but that's what makes it special."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "We were told we should not visit Charleston without visiting The Ordinary; however we found it...well...ordinary. The bar area was cool, but we were seated upstairs and away from the action. The wait staff was nice, but we felt rushed. The menu was limited in our opinion and rather pricey for what we received. The towers seemed pretty cool and looked nice, but that was way too much food for my wife and me. The spring salad with buttermilk dressing was by far the hit. It was one of the best we have had in some time. My wife's flounder dish was fine if unspectacular and for some reason I settled on a $26.00 basket of fish and chips that was average at best. I should have gone with my original choice of your baked oysters with the salad."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We were told by friends in Seattle to go to The Ordinary. So we did, and when we walked in were assaulted by the loudest noise ever in any restaurant. A high-ceiling pushed the volume to ear-splitting. We four had to shout at each other the entire meal. The food was just OK, high prices, could not compare to any of the other great Charleston restaurants we visited. BUT the waiter was fun and pleasant. But we would NEVER recommend that restaurant to anyone."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "The best thing I can say about our dinner at The Ordinary is that it wasn't too expensive and we didn't leave hungry. That might be OK in Thermopolis, Wyoming but Thermopolis is not a center of culinary genius. Charleston is, and to paraphrase, too many restaurants too little time. We won't be back."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "We enjoyed the Maine Lobster Cocktail and the Tower for Two plus Roasted Spring Onions, Oyster Sliders and Arugula Salad. The ambience was very pleasant. We felt our waiter was somewhat inconsistent in his service, sometimes right on task and other times absent or distracted. We will return next time we are in Charleston!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "This is some of the best seafood I have ever had. The fresh oysters were fabulous, the ceviche was wonderful and the oyster sliders should not be missed. The waiter was very helpful and thoughtful. Just a great experience all around."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "The food was imaginative, but one in the party questioned the portion size. We sat upstairs and it was noisy. A noisy restaurant is not "energetic". The waiter acted like he was doing us a great service- he was cold, bored and did not connect at all. The salad was excellent. So was the black bass and the shrimp. Drink prices were reasonable, but the wine was very. overpriced. I asked for a dry chard, but got a strangely sweet. Turned me off from ordering another. Valet parking was good and the bartender was knowledgeable and friendly. Did well with everyone else's drinks. I am older and local. Too many better choices within three blocks. The Ordinary was not Extra-ordinary. When the tourists go, the locals will stay away."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "This restaurant is a gem. The freshest seafood, the delightful decor and great waitstaff - really it was all fantastic. I was nervous about it living up to all I heard about it but it was excellent. The seafood platter was perfect and we added a few small plates. Our server was extremely well versed about the wines and the service was understated but efficient. My favorite spot I ate in in Charleston."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Seafood was fresh and prepared to enhance palate and eye. Portions were appropriate. Menu has limited selection but enough variety to satisfy diversity of tastes. Limited selections should ensure freshness. Oysters specialty. In truth does not stand above other high quality Charleston seafood restaurants but provides a nice compliment."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We had tried to get into the Ordinary on our last trip to Charleston and couldn't , so we were excited to finally try this new hot spot. Our server, Tom, was excellent. The food was good, too, but nothing really special. Exceptionally loud, so I would suggest requesting an upstairs table for conversation. Great atmosphere in this wonderfully repurposed building!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Food is pretty good; service was good. Cant believe there isnt a dumb waiter to the upper level. But our main complaint-the noise! We screamed across our little table- a tiny little table on horribly uncomfortable seats. We felt the menu was good but quite limited. 2 seafood choices-a fish n chips type dish which I got and a Carribean fish stew. My husband liked his stew but mine was nothing but fried flounder. He had a really good shad roe and they originally left the dressing off of my salad. I guess since most come there for beer and oysters, just plain iced tea was served in tiny glasses. We asked for a small pitcher because waiting for refills took forever. A better review if not for noise, the uncomfortable seats and slow service."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "We were so pleased with our experience. Food was delicious, fresh and local."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Had heard alot of good things about this restaurant so I was eager to try it on my recent visit back to Charleston. Definitely fit for sea food lovers as there is nothing much else on the menu. Enjoyed some wonderful fresh oysters served with 3 types of sauce followed by the evening's $25.00 fixed price 3 course offer which was their lobster roll. Very good and served with homemade potato chips. The salad served as an appetizer was farm fresh and delicious featuring a variety of greens and shaved vegetables. Restaurant appears to draw young locals and is a bit noisey even during the week."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "This is one of the best restaurants in Charleston. Our waiter was wonderful, knowledge of menu was great, and our food was absolutely delicious. Will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Beautiful room, fine service. Food good but way too expensive. Bound to be one of those places for well heeled tourists but too dear for local folks like us."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Outstanding service food and ambience in a converted 1927 bank building. Worthy of one of Esquire Magazine's Best New Restaurants of the Year award."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "This was the first time that we ate at The Ordinary. The food was very good, as was the service. However, the menu is limited. It is very heavily slanted toward seafood, especially shellfish, so if that is what you want, this is a fine place. Only three entrees were not shellfish, so if you prefer fish, the selection is limited. I ordered the barbecued shrimp, which were very tasty, but they had to be peeled, which turned out to be a bit messier than I thought that it would be. Be sure to look at the menu before going to be sure that there are choices that you really want."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "My husband is a chef and it is very hard to enjoy a meal out with him. But we both loved the food and the atmosphere. We ordered small plates in courses and really enjoyed our time there. The most outstanding parts included being sat immediately upon arrival at our reservation time (which should be the norm, but often is not), being recommended an excellent wine by our server and the sommelier, and having a server (Hunter!) who was on top of everything. He was friendly but not over bearing, and always around to answer questions, refill glasses and check on us. Overall a great evening. I hear complaints that it is overpriced, which might be true, but what do you expect? It's Charleston and it's great food!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We had appetizers which were great. A variety Of oysters and The lobster cerviche was excellent. The old Building was beautiful but noise level was high. Menu was set up a little different. Seafood towers Must be the trendy item to order with a group."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Came for the Raw Bar (the platter was phenomenal) and also ate some seriously delightful small plates. Oyster sliders were the most delightful blend of sweet and hot, with jalapeño slices, cilantro, and coconut. Perfection. The white shrimp hush puppies were huge and awesome, and the broccoli polenta was great. Whatever the exact name of the perfect cold clam salad with cilantro on the Seafood Platter is, they should sell it by the pound. It was probably the most delicious individual item we've eaten ever. Seriously I wish they could just ship a tub of it to Chicago every week for my life. Go eat here or you're a big dummy."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "We were delighted by our dinner at The Ordinary. The dining room is very pretty, table overlooking the garden and outdoor seating through french doors. Our waitress, Sara, was extraordinary, attentive and helpful. Each dish was delicious, well prepared and presented. The pasta was done just right, the seafood fresh and not overcooked. Loved the fried oyster salad too! The wines by the glass were quite good."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Great seafood. Wonderful dining experience sharing a number of smaller plates with friends. Service was outstanding and very helpful in making suggestions."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "The oysters were a total show-stopper; sparkling Chardonnay was a perfect match. We tried five small plates that night and one fish entree. Everything, all the way to dessert, was masterfully prepared and had a vivid flavor profile. Helpful service. Fine teamwork, all-around. Spectacular architecture. I had requested a special table, and we were seated on the mezzanine, which offered a novel birdseye view of the space. However, finding ourselves right next to the wait stand was less than optimal. As someone who avoids 'screens', being distracted by the steady activity of entering data for orders took away from the experience. Maybe we will try the main floor next time. In all, thanks for a great evening. We were enthralled!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Everything we tried was delicious, but the Chilled Razor Clams were amazing!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "I heard that this was the new hot place to go in Charleston so I made a reservation. Upon arriving we were being led to a small table upstairs away from the action so I asked for a seat at the Oyster Bar - a much better vantage point to take in the energy of the restaurant. We ordered a dozen oysters which were served w/ 2 mignonettes and house made cocktail sauce. We also tried the peekytoe crab toast (fabulous), moules frites (which should have been served with spoons and some bread to soak up the broth), and the very fresh vegetable salad. Our oyster bar chef, Sean was great, but our server took orders for 86'd items (twice) and didn't know her wine/cocktail list. The manager was not gracious when I made a comment upon leaving."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Just not my kind of place - too foo foo / foodie centric. I had hoped for a very good meal, not an artistic meal. The meal was not inline with the cost."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "By far the best meal we had in Charleston. Everything was so fresh and amazing. Not one complaint."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Lively scene. Very helpful wait staff. Tried all varieties of oysters, a great way to compare. Smoked oysters with crackers and pepper sauce were awesome. Rice pudding topped off the evening."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "The Ordinary is anything but that. They do have an inexpensive daily list of a three course meal which constitutes the ordinaries. This is primarily a seafood restaurant and does not disappoint in that respect with free seafood well prepared with delicate sauces. The restaurant was presumably a bank in the past and the high ceiling may contribute to a noisy atmosphere. Outstanding service accompanies the meals."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Food was very good. We have mussels a lot. These, due to broth, were superb. Service could have been more attentive. When we wanted our server, she was no where to be found"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Great food, great service, a terrific experience. Thanks so much for making it a special night. We grazed through the menu, enjoying oyster sliders, fish chowder, lobster ceviche, leek and asparagus vinaigrette, lemon pot de creme. Wow! Terrific care from our server, Ben."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Impressive reused space, but had to speak very loudly to converse. Very fresh seafood with unusual menu. Would go back for light fare, but probably not for regular meal."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Don't miss if traveling to Charleston. Always offers unusual bottles of wine well matched to seafood...in a reasonable price range."
    Dined on 3/11/2014